Rakitic faces fitness race ahead of El Clasico after injuring leg
BARCELONA, Spain --
Barcelona will be without midfielder Ivan Rakitic for Sunday's Spanish league match against Villarreal due to injury.
The club says the Croatia midfielder tore a muscle in his right leg in the first half of its 3-0 win over BATE Borisov in the Champions League on Wednesday.
Rakitic walked gingerly off the pitch after being seen by team doctors and was replaced by Munir El Haddadi. There was no indication as to when he would be fit to return for the Catalan club.
"The tests carried out by the Barcelona medical staff confirm that Ivan Rakitic has a small tear in his right calf," a statement said. "The player will miss the game against Villarreal and his recovery will dictate his availability for the following matches."
Barcelona will visit Real Madrid in the first ''clasico'' match of the season on Nov. 21. Barca and Real have 24 points from 10 games in La Liga, with the latter top on goal difference.
Information from Goal.com was used in this report.